A PIL has been filed in the Delhi HC seeking forensic audit of private hospitals including Fortis Group, Apollo Group, Maxx Hospital, BLK Hospital and Manipal Hospital, allegedly for having indulged in criminal offences of cheating and fraud upon their patients.
The petition has been filed by Advocates Shobha Gupta, Rajesh Sachdeva and Anubhav Singh alleging that these private hospitals, that were established on lands leased to it by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) at very concessional rates in exchange for providing free medical facilities to the needy and poor, have been charging hefty amounts from indigent patients.
"That it is submitted such private hospitals have while taking lands dirt cheap from the government affirmed that they would provide free medical facilities to the needy and poor. That to the dismay of the petitioner such affirmations remain on paper and the assured medical facilities never reached out to the poor and needy," the plea states.
It is alleged that in the wake of such a critical situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic, these Private Hospitals in Delhi are charging an unreasonable amount from the poor and needy. It is submitted,
"The private hospitals have unreasonably increased the per bed prices, room rent, PPF Kit, Gloves, sanitizers and have also charging higher amount than the MRP for basic medicines and needs."
The Petitioners have contended that these hospitals generate humongous revenue every year and such revenue should be utilized in the treatment of COVID-19 patients for free or minimum cost for the poor and needy persons.
Inter alia, the plea states that the Private hospitals have also made private arrangements with Charitable Trusts to "commercialize" their hospitals.
The Petitioners have alleged that these Trusts have a private collaboration agreement with the private hospitals, which acts as a camouflage of transmission of huge amount of money for personal purpose.
"A huge amount of money is being circulated from the private institutions to the charitable trusts and then to their respective trustees. Such private institutions smell of scams which may involve criminal offences of cheating and fraud upon patients visiting the hospitals," the plea states.
It is emphasized that the State has given the land to private hospitals for free or on minimal charges, and therefore the State is obligated to keep regular surveillance upon the management of such hospitals and its funds.
"It is a dire need to have a forensic auditing of such charitable trusts and private institution who are commercializing such a noble profession," the Petitioners have urged.
They have thus prayed for a direction to the private hospitals to render truthful accounts of all the monies received and disbursed by them at least during the period of pandemic and has sought for constitution of a Committee to inspect and audit their account and management.
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